PhD Students

Anton Allen

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Justin Oakley
Project title: Sweet little lies: the ethics of deceptive placebo use in clinical practice

A placebo can take many forms: from the familiar sugar pill to an injection of saline, from an inert cream to a simulated surgical procedure. Despite the lack of any active ingredients, research indicates that placebo treatments can be of a real therapeutic benefit to patients. Indeed, in some cases a placebo treatment might offer the best chance of achieving such a therapeutic benefit. However, in order to administer a placebo treatment a doctor or nurse is required to deceive their patient. Can this deception ever be justified? Would the widespread use of placebo treatments erode trust in the medical profession? These are among the ethical problems I examine in my thesis.


Tim Allen

Main supervisor: Professor Michael Selgelid
Project title: The ethics of laws and policies to prevent childhood obesity

My thesis is aimed at evaluating the ethical implications of existing or proposed policy-led interventions to prevent childhood obesity. Obesity is currently one of the world’s major public health problems. Experts argue that the most effective means to reverse the obesity ‘epidemic’ is to prevent the occurrence of obesity in children, and that this is most effectively achieved with the use of laws and regulations. However, such interventions often run into ethical problems, such as causing psychosocial harms in children, interfering with the liberty of parents, and limiting the freedom of speech of corporations, among others. I aim to evaluate these implications in order to determine the ethically appropriate actions open to governments in the prevention of childhood obesity.


Dr. John Gruner

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Justin Oakley
Project title: Trust me I’m your Health Guru

I am researching the ethical interface between Evidence Based Medicine with Complimentary Medicine. In 1988 I completed my MBBS at Monash University Clayton then after clinical work in U.K and rural practice I settled in the Dandenong Ranges above Melbourne. I became more interested in the ethics of Complimentary Medicine after a one year Part 1 Medical Acupuncture diploma I completed in 1996 and then commenced the 3 year bioethics Masters course at Monash. My wife’s involvement in the home birth movement as a midwife and our subsequent four children at home along with numerous patient encounters that conflict my ever evolving notions of what is “right” provide ongoing food for thought and fuel my research. In 2000 Monash Bioethics Review published my paper “Complimentary Medicine, Evidence Based Medicine, and Informed Consent” and in 2011 my confirmation of candidature work pertained to “The Ethical Use of Hope in Health care” I am currently looking at fallibilism in health care and medical pluralism.


Dr. Euzebiusz (Zeb) Jamrozik

Main supervisor: Professor Michael Selgelid
Topic:  An Ethical Analysis of Public Goods in Public Health

I am currently in my second year of a PhD in global health ethics at Monash, focusing on ethical issues related to public goods models of public health surveillance and interventions, especially in the area of infectious diseases. My  background is in clinical medicine and have pursued studies in philosophy part-time while training, including a Masters in Bioethics. I have broad interests in philosophy including classical metaphysics, enlightenment epistemology and the history of philosophy. I also like languages, books, travel, mythology, springtime, and the colour red.


Julian Koplin

Main supervisor: Professor Michael Selgelid
Project title: Selling the ‘gift of life’: A consequentialist case against markets in organs

My dissertation analyses the ethical implications of employing market measures to respond to the shortage of transplantable kidneys. In working through this topic, I explore empirical issues related to kidney vendors’ long-term outcomes, conceptual and ethical issues surrounding autonomy, paternalism, commodification and exploitation, and discuss methodological questions concerning who should bear the burden of proof in ethical and bioethical debates.


Stephanie Marshall

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Justin Oakley
Project title: Authenticity and the use of Cosmetic Psychopharmaceuticals

After graduating from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Philosophy, I then went on to become a secondary teacher, specialising in English, English Literature, and Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE). After several years of teaching in a secondary context, I then began my PhD research at Monash University and began working as a Teaching Associate, teaching a range of undergraduate units in both Philosophy and Bioethics at the Clayton campus. My current research examines the relationship between authenticity (characterised roughly as being ‘true to oneself’), the self, and the use of cosmetic psychopharmaceuticals (that is, a class of psychoactive pharmaceuticals that could be used to enhance, modify, or transform elements of one’s personality, self-concept, or patterns of thought, feeling, or behaviour). My other research interests include parental rights and responsibilities in the context of modern reproductive technologies; ethical issues relating to childhood immunisation, voluntary euthanasia, and prenatal diagnosis; and, most recently, philosophy for children.


Bryanna Moore

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Justin Oakley
Project title: Life, death and euthanasia: Can virtue ethics help us make decisions?

Upon receiving her B.A. with first class Honours from the University of Queensland, Bryanna moved to Melbourne to pursue her postgraduate studies at Monash. Her areas of interest are moral and political philosophy, in particular end of life and distributive justice issues in bioethics, and the moral status of emotions. Bryanna is an avid reader of books, eater of good food and traveller of far off places.


Suchana Sova

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Justin Oakley
Title: Justice in International Biomedical Research: A Moral Defence of (Contribution Model) Intellectual Property rights and Health Rights.

I am a Lecturer in Philosophy at the Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. I completed Master of Bioethics in 2007 from Monash University. In 2012, I also completed Graduate Diploma in Education from RMIT University.